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Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:39 am
by SueGeo
I've been thinking about getting a pi 3b+ for a while, not with any definite goal in mind, just to muddle around with. Now, I find out about the 4b.

The main problem is there's no 2 or 4 gb versions available at the moment. Micro Center seems to have 1gb only in stock. 2nd, there is a cost difference.

I don't need another computer, I actually have more old laptops around than I need, running Win 10, Linux mint, and Windows XP. I'm a total newbie at Linux, and a beginner at Arduino. I just got the idea to find out what the pi is all about.

I could order a 3b+ kit off Amazon or drive to Micro Center tomorrow and get started. The question is, if the 4b is so much more advanced that I'd regret not waiting? (I really don't care about dual or 4k monitors).

But it could be weeks, it seems, to get a 2 or 4 gb.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:06 am
by cjan
im happy with my Rip2B for years, plan to buy used Rpi3B+ under $10.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:14 am
by jbeale
For starting with a coding project and/or learning what the Pi is all about, really any model will do! The latest ones are basically just faster.

I have a bunch of different Model 2 and Model 3 Pi boards doing different things (mostly measurements, also a security camera). They still do the job I wanted them to do. None of them are a Pi4 and I have no plans to get one yet- probably will eventually just because- but most of my Pi projects use non-ventilated enclosures, and so far I don't need the significantly increased power use and temperature of the newest Pi models. Last week I just bought another Pi3B (NOT a 3B+ because that one draws more power even just idle, and even the 3B is more capable than I needed).

The Pi4 is great if you want to use it like a desktop computer for web browsing, or a faster fileserver or anything that needs the USB3 and/or Gbit ethernet port or optional larger memory. Up until now no Pi had those things, but they were still put to thousands of uses- all of which are still there.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:36 am
by Gavinmc42
I have just about every version going back to the original B.
I also got the 4B1 as that was the only one left in stock.

The 3B+s work pretty well, the 4B1 works much better but software is still evolving for it.
That will get fixed in the next few months or so.
I consider it good enough that I will not be replacing my broken Celeron Mint x86 box.
That will be replaced by a 4B4 when they are available.

My 3B+s will be turned into RetroPie game arcade things etc.
The Pi4B1 could be a dual screen game box?
It is fast enough for SuperTuxKart, Trigger Rally, Torcs etc.

If you already have PCs etc, start with a Zero, I sort of buy them with loose change ;)
Good for GPU coding via USB boot.

My security camera system is Pi B+ based, been working for years 24/7.
Now going to add some 3A+ wireless cams to it.

There is a use for every Pi, but the 4B4 is the first that will be better than my old PC.
Home media server - 4B4?
The Pi4's are new, so it will take time for things to get ported to it.
But more things will get ported because it is so much better than any other Pi.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:42 am
by JohnSoCalUSA
They are so cheap, get one of each.
I have two 3b's, one 3b+, and two zero w's.
My next one will be a 4GB Pi 4.
You could decide for now based on the type of HDMI cable and power supply you currently have.
But I predict that you will want a Pi 4 soon enough.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:11 am
by Gavinmc42
They are so cheap, get one of each.
I stopped counting after 20 or so, that was years ago ;)

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:44 am
by pik33
If you want to program bare metal now, RPi3.

If you want a desktop replacement, RPi4

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:17 pm
by k-pi
I've bought a RPi4B/4GB, it is a bit of a pain, as the most used feature, for me, is USB booting, but it is low on their priority for sorting out - & they are advertising this as a desktop computer. :roll:

It will all get sorted out........eventually - as the micro HDMI port support is being sorted out right now. ;)

My RPi3B/3B+ were sufficient to be used as a slow desktop replacement, so basically it boils down to what you actually want to do with your RPi.

Things to consider - Pi3B/3B+ use standard HDMI cables & a 2.5amp PSU - RPi4B needs a new 3amp PSU, with a different connector, & micro HDMI cable(s) or adapter & one standard HDMI cable, (2 adapters will not fit side by side).

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:29 pm
by gkaiseril
The Pi 3Bs and stretch have been around for a long time and there is only maintenance being done on the contents of the repositories. With the 4B many programs have not been updated or even ready for buster. Also there is a lack of cases and cooling options. I would go with the any of the 3B models to start with and later you can upgrade to the 4B system if you see the need.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:47 pm
by jamesh
k-pi wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:17 pm
I've bought a RPi4B/4GB, it is a bit of a pain, as the most used feature, for me, is USB booting, but it is low on their priority for sorting out - & they are advertising this as a desktop computer. :roll:
Because it is a desktop computer. You don't need USB boot to be a desktop computer. I've NEVER used USB boot, and prior to the Pi3B+, neither did anyone else. Just use a SD card to hand off booting to the USB drive. Not complicated.
k-pi wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:17 pm
It will all get sorted out........eventually - as the micro HDMI port support is being sorted out right now. ;)
And....done....
k-pi wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:17 pm
My RPi3B/3B+ were sufficient to be used as a slow desktop replacement, so basically it boils down to what you actually want to do with your RPi.

Things to consider - Pi3B/3B+ use standard HDMI cables & a 2.5amp PSU - RPi4B needs a new 3amp PSU, with a different connector, & micro HDMI cable(s) or adapter & one standard HDMI cable, (2 adapters will not fit side by side).
So, HDMI cables $1, new power supply $8. So another $10. (pishop.us)

Whoop! And TBH, you can use the old PS with an adapter if you want to.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:53 pm
by epoch1970
Reason to choose a pi4 with 2 or 4GB Ram
SueGeo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:39 am
- not with any definite goal in mind, just to muddle around with.
You're not in a big hurry so this or that currently missing feature is not a tragedy. Pi4 is a better all-round platform, 4GB RAM is enough for a fat desktop or for virtualization.

Reason to choose a Pi3b/3b+
I'm a total newbie at Linux, and a beginner at Arduino. I just got the idea to find out what the pi is all about.
You will rely heavily on how-tos, ready-made packages etc. Pi2/Pi3 have been in use for years and plenty of material (good or bad..) is available on the Internet if you want to start a project.
Pi4 will no doubt yield the same response from the community but these things take time, say 6 mo.-1 yr. before a wide spetrum of projects are documented with Pi4.

So I would recommend a Pi3b+ if buying new. Otherwise and if and only if in unmolested condition, a second-hand 3b or 3b+ should do fine.
Pi2 is great but lacks wifi, this restricts its scope and besides Pi3b/3b+ was probably sold in greater numbers.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:22 pm
by k-pi
I've NEVER used USB boot, and prior to the Pi3B+, neither did anyone else. Just use a SD card to hand off booting to the USB drive. Not complicated.
Not complicated, but frustrating when you have been USB booting since USB2.0 arrived on the scene, & just because YOU don't use it does not mean it isn't necessary for some of us. :evil:

My first RPi was a 3B, because it had 1GB ram & could, after setting the OTP bit, boot from usb, my 2nd was also a 3B, then the 3rd was a 3B+, a great improvement, because we didn't have to use a micro SDHC card to set up USB booting, likewise, my 3A+ just boots from USB, albeit I can only use a mouse or a keyboard on it, but not both together.

When we get the RPi4B booting from an external SSD will be the time it really is a desktop computer. 8-)

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:55 pm
by jbudd
Some of my thoughts and misunderstandings. I expect other people will disagree!

3B+ Pros - Standard HDMI port, You may already have a cable, so saving some money
- Micro USB power socket. You may already have a micro USB charger or power supply that can power it, particularly if you plan to use it "headless" ie without keyboard or monitor, or USB hard disks or SSD drives. Many people have had problems with their (not official) power supply not being up to the task

3B+ Cons - The 3B+ has a reputation for being easy to kill by an accidental short circuit between GPIO 5V and metal components or other pins. There are reports too of 3B+'s dying without any GPIO contact.

4B Pros - I read somewhere that the 4B is designed to make the above short circuit issue less likely.
- Gigabit ethernet
- USB 3
- It's twice as fast as the 3B+
- Supports 4K and/or dual displays
- 4GB memory version available.

4B Cons - It's HOT! To maintain optimum processor speed under load it needs a fan or good heatsink, especially if it's used by children.
- The official case, or any case I guess may make the heat issue worse.
- Micro HDMI ports. There is an official micro HDMI cable available but if you are going to use older DVI monitors you will need a cheap adapter at the monitor end of the cable.
- The 1GB version is recommended for headless operation. If you want to watch videos, browse the web etc 4GB is better at a price
- Power connection is by the less usual USB C and it needs 3.5 Amps if you attach power hungry USB devices. There is an official power supply which is strongly recommended.
- You have to use Raspbian Buster which is a brand new release and not all popular applications will install and work easily.
- Higher power consumption might make you less eager to leave it switched on 24/7 as a server.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:26 pm
by hardwaremack-orginal
I would suggest not getting the PI4B one gig.
The 3B+ should only be $25. They are great i have 3.

Microcenter gets deliveries Tuesday's and Thursdays.
Tomorrow they will at-least have PI4B 2gig boards ($45) its worth the 10 bucks.
- get the 9 dollar Official Raspi 3a USBC charger.
- behind the counter they have the official raspberry pi micro hdmi cables for 7 bucks ea.
- even if they have the case, i wouldn't get it unless you are planning to mod it with a small fan or something,
as the PI4B gets too hot to be usable for the un modified official PI4B case.

I would say the extra investment for the PI4B 2gig or 4gig is totally worth it.

They have the Pi Zero w's for 5 dollars each. Most cashiers will let you buy at-least 2, but they will have to ring up the second one separate.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:33 pm
by hardwaremack-orginal
My store Madison Heights, Mi had 10+ 2gig version on Friday. many of the other stores still have a decent stock of 2gb boards currently. Tomorrow I bet there will be some more 2GIG versions ... maybe even some 4gig ones...?? The MS sales guy told me they only ever had (7) 4 gig boards and they were all sold with in minutes of adding to the website. The 2gig boards have been in and out of stock about 4 times since MS started selling the PI4B. I have yet to lay my hands on a 4gig version.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:49 pm
by epoch1970
Do not buy a computer without a case.

Causing a short circuit when the computer is running will cause it harm or will kill it.
The Pi is not immune, esp. with its row of GPIO pins. So protect it with a case, and only touch the machine when it is fully powered off.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:09 pm
by HawaiianPi
hardwaremack-orginal wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:33 pm
My store Madison Heights, Mi had 10+ 2gig version on Friday. many of the other stores still have a decent stock of 2gb boards currently.
Yea, it seems like they are making more of the 2GB versions, since those are common to find in stock. I thought I saw it posted that RPF/RPT believed it would be the most popular model. If that's true I think it was a grave miscalculation (but this is the Internet, the misinformation superhighway, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

My pair of 4GB models ordered June 24th have had their estimated shipping date pushed back three times now (July 5, then 10, now 12). Found 2GB in stock at PiShop.us and it shipped the next day (ordered July 4, shipped July 5, post office says it will be delivered tomorrow July 9).

EDIT:
PiShop.us still has 2GB in stock, but it's a very long wait for the 4GB models.

Product Status
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B/1GB Waiting list available 2019-08-01
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B/2GB In stock! Ships in 1-3 business days
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B/4GB Waiting list available 2019-08-15 :shock:

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:34 pm
by hippy
SueGeo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:39 am
I've been thinking about getting a pi 3b+ for a while, not with any definite goal in mind, just to muddle around with.
For that you could use any Pi, though I would recommend avoiding the Zero and get a Zero W if that path takes your fancy, and skip the original A's and B's, the A+ and 3A+, in favour of a B+ or anything later. There's nothing wrong with any of those I suggest avoiding but they can be less than ideal as a first Pi.

Anything from B+ upwards is good enough to get started with. It's less cost expended if it's not to your liking, and, if you decide you want something better, it likely still has a use after you buy something more recently launched.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:19 pm
by SueGeo
gkaiseril wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:29 pm
The Pi 3Bs and stretch have been around for a long time and there is only maintenance being done on the contents of the repositories. With the 4B many programs have not been updated or even ready for buster. Also there is a lack of cases and cooling options. I would go with the any of the 3B models to start with and later you can upgrade to the 4B system if you see the need.
Good points. I think you've convinced me to go with the 3b+.

Thanks to all for your input!

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:41 pm
by HawaiianPi
SueGeo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:19 pm
Good points. I think you've convinced me to go with the 3b+.

Thanks to all for your input!
For someone who is new to Raspberry Pi and wanting to learn, I think that's a good decision. The 3B(+) is a better supported and more stable platform at the moment, so you'll have more fun and fewer problems. And even if you do decide to get a Pi4 later, there are lots of things you can do with your 3B+ model.

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:53 pm
by Michiel O.
Educational purposes. I wanted to learn ARM assembler - and on what platform can you learn it better than on a real ARM chip itself? My 3B+ suffices for that. I also ordered a 4B, but that'll still take a while, I guess.

For example, hello.s:

Code: Select all

.data
greeting:
    .ascii "Hi there\n"

.text
.globl _start

_start:
    mov r7, #4        @ sys_write
    mov r0, #1        @ stdout
    ldr r1,=greeting  @ address of string
    mov r2, #9        @ length of string
    svc #0            @ linux syscall

    mov r7, #1        @ sys_exit
    mov r0, #0        @ return result
    svc #0            @ linux syscall

Assemble and link:

Code: Select all

as -o hello.o -alh -g hello.s
ld -o hello hello.o
./hello

Debugging tips

Code: Select all

gdb hello
b _start
run
display/i $pc
si
...repeatedly press Enter to step through the program

Alternatively, you can use the graphical 'ddd' debugger to step through the program.

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install ddd
ddd hello

Re: Is starting with a 3B+ a bad idea now that the 4b is out?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:48 am
by SueGeo
SueGeo wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:19 pm


Good points. I think you've convinced me to go with the 3b+.

Thanks to all for your input!
Folks here gave me such thoughtful and well reasoned replies that I think it's appropriate to report back on results a month later.

I went and picked up a 3b+ kit from Microcenter, and a Zero W as well. I'm glad I did. Since I've got the laptops, I don't need or want a desktop PC. Although the 3b+ is actually a passable desktop for browsing text based forums, (such as this one) and Reddit (which is how I spend far too much time).

I've lost track of how many boot images I've tried out. I tried media servers only to realize I actually want a music server. Tried a couple, so far I haven't found one that will make my life easier instead of more complicated. I have an idea for the next attempt, tho.

But the real surprise is how cool the Zero is. I'm fascinated by the idea of trying to make such a tiny power-sipping thing do something really useful.

I have my zero just as a Samba server now. I'm thinking of getting a 3A to be the eventual music server. And another zero for whatever...

(What rabbit hole? I haven't seen any rabbits...)